June 3, 2010
June 11 Story: Teaching Culture with Puppets
One of the legacies of the Residential Schools system in Canada, which took indigenous young people from their families in order to educate them in state- and church-sponsored boarding schools was the loss of language and culture, as children were punished for speaking their own language or practicing their own cultural traditions. In order to combat this loss, many indigenous groups actively engage in educational programs of their own. Kanien’kehaka OnkwawÃƒ©n:na Raotitiohkwa (KOR) is a Kahnawake cultural and language centre which has been engaged in this work for over 30 years. The Territory of Kahnawake is one of the seven Mohawk communities that comprises the Mohawk Nation.
Since 2004, PWRDF has worked with KOR to help provide a variety of innovative programs including the development of computer software, adult language immersion programs, and TÃƒ³ta tÃƒ¡non OhkwÃƒ¡:ri, a 30-minute TV show featuring puppets which teaches children in the community their language. By providing programs for people of all ages, KOR is working to assist their community to know their history, culture, and language. KOR’s language and cultural programs increase and validate the community’s cultural knowledge and understanding of who they are as indigenous peoples.
A $75 donation to PWRDF can help to produce stories based on community daily life and traditions for TÃƒ³ta tÃƒ¡non OhkwÃƒ¡:ri.